Matthew Leyba-Gonzalez

Sept. 3, 2020 - Imperial Beach, CA - Campaign photos of Matthew Leyba-Gonzalez, candidate for Imperial Beach City Council. Photo by David Poller

Question:

Why did you decide to run for the City Council and what do you feel you offer the residents of Imperial Beach?

Matthew Leyba-Gonzalez:

I live, work and volunteer here in District 4, and witness first-hand how our community continues to be underrepresented on the City Council. I decided to run for Councilmember to be our community’s strongest advocate for fair representation.

As a local community organizer, former U.S. Army Reservist and labor representative, I have the experience to fight for us on day one to ensure our neighborhoods receive the resources to keep our families safe and healthy, rebuild our local economy, and create housing Imperial Beach families can afford.

You can count on me to stand up for workers and be the voice we need on the Imperial Beach City Council. I will work for safer neighborhoods and to improve opportunities for all the people of Imperial Beach, not just the powerful.

When the COVID-19 crisis hit our community, I stepped up to serve on the Mayor’s Task Force, working to keep local workers healthy and employed – and to begin rebuilding of our local economy. As a member of the Task Force, I have been working to gather information from our business community to make recommendations to reopen the local economy and with the City Council and State Legislators to give small business owners information on how to get assistance during the pandemic – so that they can keep on employing as many Imperial Beach residents as possible.

As Councilmember, I’m prepared to lead us to: Recover from the long-term impacts of COVID-19 ; Rebuild our local economy and jobs; Reinvest in our neighborhoods and create housing we can afford.

That’s why I’ve earned the support of our community leaders, including Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, Councilmembers Paloma Aguirre and Mark West, the San Diego County Democratic Party, the Imperial Beach Democratic Club, the San Diego County Deputy Sheriff’s and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

My career has been dedicated to fighting for better jobs with fair pay and benefits for local families – while strengthening the local economy and expanding apprenticeship programs, job training and worker safety.

As our area Labor Relations Representative in the Organizing Department for Laborers Union Local 89, I help make sure many important community infrastructure investments are safely and properly built – including hundreds of structures at local schools, community colleges, universities and hospitals. I also stand up for workers’ right by ensuring pay rates, overtime laws, worker safety laws and standards on public works projects are adhered to.

Serving nine years in the U.S. Army Reserves, right out of high school, inspired me to learn the value of motivation and a strong work ethic. I realized that a strong education was the first step in allowing me to fight for my community. I proudly became the first member of my family to earn a college degree, earning my Associates Degree from Southwestern Community College, and then my Bachelors’ Degree at California State University at Dominguez Hills.

After graduating, I followed in the footsteps of my father and grandfather, bother Laborers, getting my start in the construction trades at UC San Diego. My hard work helped me excel in construction, and continuously earn promotions, leading me to a leadership role in managing workers’ safety and overseeing payroll and project budgets. I am proud of the hard work and opportunities to give back to my community and help make sure others overcome adversity, have the opportunity to pursue good jobs with fair pay, benefits and career advancement.

As our Councilmember, I will always bring that same hard work and dedication to improving the lives and neighborhoods for all of us in Imperial Beach. I hope you will join me.

I will always be on our side. To learn more, please visit Matthew4ibcitycouncil.com.

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